Personal Locator Beacons
Posted by Geof on February 20, 2003 at 19:37:59:
First, thanks to everyone who filed reports (and posted photos) about their backcountry trips! I envy you. I was planning my next trip to DV while sitting out the snowstorm in northern Virginia, and spent way too much time tracing out your routes on online topo maps and aerial photos.
As cell service is spotty at best, here is something for your peace of mind while exploring backcountry areas alone. The Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is a handheld emergency transmitter that will be available for general public use this July. The estimated low-end cost is $300. As the distress signal is picked up and located by satellite, it will work anywhere (well, I'm not sure about deep in a mine!). More details on the web site below. (Full Disclosure: I work for NOAA on the satellite program, but not for the Search and Rescue group.)
Thanks for the interesting discussions!